Air travel can be an incredible experience, but occasionally, we encounter fellow passengers who push the boundaries of common courtesy and make the journey less pleasant for everyone.
In this collection of stories, we delve into the world of air travel and explore the most obnoxious behaviors witnessed by fellow travelers. From inconsiderate seatmates to unruly passengers, these tales highlight the moments when the peaceful ambiance of a flight is disrupted by the actions of a few.
Join us as we take flight and explore the extraordinary experiences shared by those who have witnessed the most obnoxious behavior aboard an airplane. Get ready to cringe, empathize, and perhaps even recall your own encounters with the less-than-polite side of air travel.
All content has been edited for clarity.
You Played Yourself
“I was seated near the back of the business class cabin. When the seatbelt sign was turned off I got out my carry-on and was loading stuff into it while standing in the aisle. The doors weren’t open yet so I wasn’t obstructing anybody. A woman who had been sitting further behind me in the cabin, without so much as an excuse me, barged past me so forcefully I actually fell into my seat face first (and I’m not a small guy – 6’3” and about 200 pounds). She proceeded to barge past everyone else until she was at the front of the plane. I was gobsmacked at her selfishness and rudeness.
They didn’t open the front doors, they opened the second set. She had gone from pole position to the back of the queue, and no one felt like making way for her again.”
Rude And Lying Is Quite The Combo
“This was a couple of months ago while I was 7 months pregnant.
My husband and I were visiting his parents back east and going to one of his friend’s weddings. The night before our flight my MIL threw us a surprise baby shower, which was great! There was a downside to it, however. My husband and I like to fly with Southwest Airlines, and, as you may know, you need to check in 24 hours before your flight on the dot in order to get in a good place in line, or else you’ll be stuck in the crummy seats. People didn’t leave the baby shower until pretty late and so we didn’t get to check on time and we got to the back of the line. Gah!
I was feeling pretty bummed about it because being on a plane for 5 hours in bad seats (and probably a middle seat) while 7 months pregnant isn’t the most comfortable prospect. A flight attendant saw me and told me to get a pre-board pass and that my husband could get one too since he was with me. My husband didn’t want to get one, he was fine being in the back and didn’t want to put anyone out.
When they called for people with a pre-boarding pass I lined up. I had three people in front of me, one being an elderly lady in a wheelchair. Then this older guy (50s?) and his wife bumped me out of the way and went to the front of the line, which I thought was pretty rude, but he had a cast on and crutches and seemed to be having a rough time so I didn’t say anything. All I needed was an aisle seat close to the bathroom and they weren’t preventing that, and to be honest I felt kind of sheepish going to the front of the line for being pregnant anyway.
The older guy and his wife got the very front so he could have space for his casted leg and the flight attendants struggled to get the crutches in the overhead bin. I went about three rows back. While people were boarding the wife kept on getting up, halting the boarding in order to check things in her bag that she put in the overhead bin. I thought that was pretty rude. She didn’t seem to rush or care that she made it impossible for people to pass her either. In my mind, if she needed something she could have waited for everyone to get on the plane first. Or even just take down her bag and go back to her seat to figure it out. What she needed wasn’t something urgent- it was just stuff.
The flight was a normal flight; by some stroke of luck, no one wanted to sit by the big preggo lady so my husband got to sit next to me! That made my heart happy. And the lady in the window seat was super cool too. We chatted for a little bit.
Then the flight was over. It was 2 a.m. and I was so ready to be home! As people tend to do, everyone stood up because they want to get out of the plane as quickly as possible once the plane stopped moving. But the wife of this older broken-leg dude decided that she should get her bag and start organizing it or something in the middle of the aisle so no one could get off until she wanted to. It was annoying. We were all just standing there while she was in her own little world preventing us from leaving.
Then there was baggage claim. As my husband was picking up our bags I looked over and saw this dude who had the crutches walking along perfectly with a cast in a grocery bag around his shoulder. Wife carrying the crutches. All the struggle and pain he had before the flight seemed to have disappeared!
Instant anger. I was fuming and half-tempted to go over and yell at the dude. Instead, I gave him an evil glare that I hoped he felt in his soul because, well I’m not very good at yelling at people.
Faking an injury to cut in line? And then to be an inconvenience to people as much as you possibly could by holding them up during the boarding? I was mystified. How does behaving like that even cross a person’s mind? How selfish could you be? What if there was someone on that flight who actually DID have a broken leg?
As you can see, this still upsets me.”
Zero Self Awareness
“I was on a flight from Florida. We landed, and I was about 3/4 of the way back, so I knew it would be a little while to get off. A woman two seats in front of me stood up and got her bag out of the overhead. She put it on the floor, opened it, got out a coat, stood back up, and slowly put it on. Granted, it probably only took her about 2 minutes, but it meant that about 50 people had to wait around for her to go through the process.
But wait! There’s more! I was about to walk off the plane when the line suddenly stopped. The same woman had taken a few steps into the jetway, put her suitcase on the floor, opened it, blocking both directions and then rooted around to get her hat and gloves. So we all got to wait for her again, as did the people trying to get on the plane to service it between flights.
In retrospect, I have to wonder what kind of life she leads. She was oblivious to the people around her. And she wasn’t mentally disabled, at least not in the traditional sense. I’d heard her speaking during the flight and she sounded like she didn’t have any issues. Just a run-of-the-mill narcissist, I suppose.”
It’s So Easy To Just Be Kind
“I was at the gate and there’s a group of very well-dressed women there. They were loud so I got a front-row seat to their convo where I learn that ‘Amie with an i’s husband only made 150k this year, so she couldn’t come on the trip’ as well as advice on how best to divorce him because that’s too poor for a family to live on. I also got to hear about how Samantha was such a sl*t for having two affairs with ‘bums’ she met at the club.
Basically, over the course of a couple of hours wait, I got to learn all about them. They were sorority sisters, who had married rich, were born into wealth, and one actually worked as a real estate agent. They were all married, rich, and acted like a group of stereotypical, entitled, rich housewives.
So, now that I’m all caught up on gossip, they call us to board and we all line up. I’m near the middle of the line, ladies are behind me, and a group of very tough-looking men were in front of us. I’m trying to find my boarding pass when I heard the ladies start whining about how long the line is, and why do they have to wait on all these scumbags that probably aren’t even frequent flyers? I’m trying very hard not to ask why they’re flying coach if they have so much cash they feel the need to constantly brag, but I don’t. Yay me.
Next thing I know, one of the ladies just shoves me out of the way, and out of line, then looks at me and laughs before telling me guess I’ll have to wait a bit longer now.
I was ready to start giving her a verbal beat down when one of the men in front of me spoke up. He grabs her by the carry-on and tells her she ain’t cutting them, don’t even try. She actually stomps her foot, and her friends start clucking about how they need to board, they’re in a hurry. He tells her he doesn’t care, the plane isn’t going to leave any faster just because she boarded first.
At this point, they’re both arguing, and loudly, and I’m not trying to get involved with security, so I figure forget it, he’s right, I’ll go to the end and wait. I start to walk away when I feel someone grab my shoulder. It’s one of the other guys from that group. He asks where I’m going, and I say I’m getting back in line. Not worth fighting over a spot.
He pulls me back in line, but with them, this time, and tells me, ‘I need to find some balls. Can’t let those kinds of b*tches’ walk all over you, man up.’
Now, I’m female. I’m 4′11″, quiet, and obviously off some mountain somewhere. Now picture my very petite, country-girl self standing with a group of tough-looking men from Chicago. Gauging from the looks I got, it definitely looked strange.
After they pulled me in line with them, they all turned and started ignoring the ladies, who started loudly giving their opinions on what the world should do to criminals, thugs, and dealers. All of the stereotypes those types of women would use to describe these men based on their appearance. The guys ignored them, I ignored them. Eventually, they quit their crowing and we boarded.
Once we boarded, turned out my seatmate was Mr.FindYourBalls, who turned out to be a very nice guy. I’m too short to use the overhead, so he offered to put it up for me so it didn’t have to sit under a dirty seat. I think we spent most of the entire flight chatting about where we lived, my mountain versus his Southside, and hobbies. Turned out we both loved to sketch, read, get stoned, and play video games. If I were the bold type, probably would have asked for a Gamertag or number to keep in touch. Oh well, my loss.”